Is modelling always to blame for the rise in eating disorders? Many believe that very slim models along with re-touching images in magazines is leading to a increase in diagnosed eating disorders in models and the general public. Is this true actually true, that the fashion and modelling industry has a part to play or is it a larger problem being ignored?
Looking at a catwalk model, usually 5’8 and a UK size 6-8 and some are size 4 this suggests that clothing designers think that the ideal sizes of their clothing is this size. Looking at the averages in the UK however is 5’4 and size 16 that a huge 6 sizes and 6inches different. These are a huge difference from the “ideal” that the catwalk models are.
Doctors say that you should try to achieve a healthy body mass index. The BMI guidelines are guides. This being a guide has to incorporate everyone from athletes to bus drivers. You could also look at your waist to hip ratio, fat and muscle levels. Some people are naturally very thin and others are curvy.
What is beauty, is it actually achievable? Does showing tall, thin, small breasted ladies or ‘models’ on a catwalk give the perception of beauty? The sexiest women competitions are never won by thin models, they are J-lo and girls with symmetrical faces and shapely bodies. Healthy eating in the industry does need to be promoted and regulated and models should be educated that they can be slim and healthy. Is it not the media, magazines and constant talk about ‘celebrities’ being too fat and putting on weight or losing it making people look at their lives a lot closer which without advice from close friends and people in the body industry can lead to girls and boys suffering from anorexia and bulimia. Eating order are a very serious disorder and is complex. This is a mental illness and not always related to being slim and could be a number of problems.
Many people who suffered from eating disorder say that it started when their life felt out of control. Eating habits can go in different directions, one will make you go comfort eating and increase your weight in an obese state or loose lots of weight. There are many forms of eating disorders and you don’t know what people suffer from by looking at them. The signs are hidden and can be often linked with self harm and alcohol abuse. This is a very complex problem and even when diagnosed and the victim admits they have a problem can come back.
The modelling industry and media needs to work together. Being thin is not always healthy. Someone at size 12 could eat fast food everyday and suffer from health risks more than a healthy size 8 or 16. Sizes don’t mean you healthy. If you’re worried about your weight or diet speak to a nutritionist or your GP or go to a local gym to ask for your BMI and to have a general check and advice.